First drive: Mercedes SLK 200K

* SLK 200K gets engine tweaks * Makes it pollute less and more efficient * On sale now from £29,710...

04 June 2008

First drive: Mercedes SLK 200K

It seems even sports cars aren't exempt from the pressure to go greener - three of the four engines in the face-lifted Mercedes SLK have been fettled to give a lower CO2 output.

Take the 200K version we have here, for example. The supercharged 1.8-litre petrol engine now emits 27g/km less CO2 than before (now 182g/km) and fuel consumption has been improved by 4.2mpg to 36.7mpg.

That means the most economically viable SLK is now an even better financial bet.

There's more good news - the revised engine isn't just cleaner, it's pokier, too. The power output has been upped from 161bhp to 184bhp, and there's an extra 7lb ft of pull, too.

Okay, so it's still no ball of fire, but the 200K is noticeably quicker than before.

Unfortunately, the engine doesn't go about its work any more quietly. It still has a breathless, wheezy tone when you accelerate hard, and the noise is made worse if you plump for the optional five-speed automatic transmission fitted to our test car.

The new SLK does look sharper than before, though, with a modified front bumper, funky exhausts and darkened taillights.

• The revised SLK 200K is on sale now, costing £29,710.